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POLL: Moran Remains in Lead, Strongest Against McDonnell

by: Kenton Ngo

Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 04:38:26 PM EDT

DKOS/R2K (600 LV, 4/6-8)

DEM PRIMARY (D voters only)
         04/06 03/30 03/01 02/01
Pollster  R2K   PPP   PPP   PPP
Moran      24    22    19    18
McAuliffe  19    18    21    18
Deeds      16    15    14    11
Undec.     41    45    46    53
          04/06 02/05 12/04
Pollster   R2K   Ras   Ras
McDonnell   37    39    37
Moran       36    36    41
Net        R+1   R+3   D+4
          04/06 02/05 12/04
Pollster   R2K   Ras   Ras
McDonnell   40    42    41
McAuliffe   33    35    35
Net        R+7   R+7   R+6
          04/06 02/05 12/04
Pollster   R2K   Ras   Ras
McDonnell   38    39    39
Deeds       31    33    39
Net        R+7   R+6   Tie

A new DailyKos/Research 2000 poll (crosstabs) shows that Brian Moran continues to hold a small lead in the Democratic Primary, and that Moran is currently the strongest general-election matchup against Bob McDonnell. In results that generally agree with last week's PPP poll, Research 2000 finds that Moran leads in the primary among men and women.

Head-to-head polls between the three Democratic contenders and Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell have not been conducted since February, however, the results are still the same. Brian Moran runs several points ahead of his two Democratic counterparts, including State Senator Creigh Deeds, who lost by only a few hundred votes in a matchup against McDonnell four years ago. Interestingly, Democratic performance in the head-to-heads is probably a few points higher than stated, as African-American voters are displaying unusually high undecided rates (upwards of 30%). Typically, those voters fall behind the Democratic candidate as time goes on.

Research 2000 did not provide regional splits like PPP for the primary vote, however, I would expect that Moran still holds a commanding lead in NOVA, with McAuliffe battling him to a standstill in Richmond and Hampton Roads and Deeds picking up the rest of the state.

As always, I caution against drawing trendlines between different polls, but we work with what we've got here.

Kenton Ngo :: POLL: Moran Remains in Lead, Strongest Against McDonnell

UPDATE: If you want to know why Moran doing better against McDonnell over McAuliffe and Deeds, it isn't just Northern Virginia. Northern Virginia only (127 LV, 27% of sample):

Moran 49
McDonnell 21

McAuliffe 46
McDonnell 22

Deeds 42
McDonnell 21

This shows that Northern Virginians seem slightly more hesitant about McAuliffe and Deeds, but aren't ready to make the jump to McDonnell. However, the 7-point difference between Moran and Deeds only translates to 1.8 points in the overall total.

In fact, Moran does better than Deeds and McAuliffe among every subgroup tested against McDonnell. It's an across the board advantage.

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McDonnell matchups meaningless among other things
The election is 7 months away.  A lot can happen between now and then.  Predicting a McDonnell matchup this far out when the general election campaign has not started in earnest is meaningless.  What will the November spot price of WTI Crude be (a similar exercise fraught with many possibilities that effect the ultimate outcome)?

With Deeds's numbers, he has a higher undecided figure than Moran or McAuliffe in each group tested.  I suspect this has to do with greater name recognition that the other candidates have.  Deeds has a big cash balance to work with now and the session is over.  So, we'll see what happens.

I don't think you can use this poll to indicate who has the best chance of beating McDonnell.  I am honestly unsure which of the three really does have the best chance of beating him.  My intuition would say Creigh because he could give Bob a run in the small city and rural areas of the state.  But then folks in NoVA and Hampton Roads might not be as excited.  McAuliffe has money and that can get you pretty far, but money can only do so much and there is plenty of baggage that man carries with him.  For Moran, I don't know what his ace in the hole is.  Maybe money too?  Name recognition?  The best organization?

I want to vote for the best candidate to field against McDonnell.  And right now, I am unsure which of the three that is.  I guess I'll see what happens in the debates.

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